Impressions BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R

Impressions BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R

Soul and eye catcher

Motorcycles should hit you right in the heart and win over your soul. BMW’s R nineT is made for this. Triumph’s new Thruxton R wants to do the same. A trip in search of the center, one’s own and that of Germany.

"Where are we going?" Tobi, photo driver for the comparison, looks questioningly. "To Niederdorla", the author throws back. There is the middle of Germany – at least that’s what they say there. The colleague’s enthusiasm is limited. No matter. Even if paths should be goals, a specific point provides a direction for your own compass. And the way there is definitely not a bad one.

Impressions BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R

Soul and eye catcher

Thruxton R. After pressing the starter, the corners of his mouth twitch up. With a roaring sound, the twin announces itself from its two stainless steel pipes. His expressions of life flit into the ear canals like music, but do not maul the eardrum. A fine-tuned bass. As an extra sound bonus, the Englishwoman sprays comfortably and nicely from the megaphone pots every time the throttle is closed.

Photographer flies past on a BMW R 1200 R.

The BMW R nineT also emits a wonderful combustion sound into the environment. Just rent and much rougher. She gives the rough rocker and not the cultivated symphony orchestra. The gears find each other hard, but precisely. Get out of town, get on the train. Do a few kilometers quickly before you want to follow curve after curve. Eternal bolting straight ahead strains on both, is a little boring. Tobi closes in on me, looks for eye contact, nods briefly. The left hand counts to three. Triumph Thruxton R and BMW R nineT flex their muscles at 140 km / h. The Bayern boxer has a few more of that. Push forward researcher. The Triumph is slowly disappearing from the rearview mirror. Even if the performance curves of BMW and Triumph strive up almost in lockstep, the boxer delivers a few extra horsepower at the top, turns higher. The blow was right.

Until a BMW R 1200 R flies past from behind. On board the photographer of this story. Sitting upright on the MOTORCYCLE endurance tester, he eagerly waves over and points to the tank. It’s like always in life: there is one who is stronger. And there is always someone who shows up for the morning departure with a half-full tank. The next pump is bear.

Tobi climbs relaxed from the Triumph Thruxton R. Despite his stumps, the English iron fits him perfectly. The heart of a racer beats clearly in his chest. Whereby the Triumph is sociable. The narrow tank and long seat cushion leave plenty of space to slide around. “It needs that too,” the Thruxton pilot then says again. The bank bruises with two pressure points. They are particularly annoying when driving constantly. The BMW R nineT does not offer a perfect place either. The knee angle on it is based on the ideal size for people under 1.70 meters. Use the passenger pegs when driving fast. That makes it more bearable. Comfortable goal? Definitely not. Which is also due to the hard-tuned shock absorber. That never filters away rough edges. Hit the cross like a hammer on the anvil in the forge. Undamped and merciless.

Boxer shakes like a wet poodle

Gasoline sloshes to the brim in all tanks. Enough freeway now. It has to be the next exit. The Spessart calls. And with it the cold. At least the BMW R nineT has heated grips with an otherwise rather sparse and therefore untypical BMW equipment. They warm your hands. On the Triumph Thruxton R, Tobi has to worry warmly. From now on there is no more space in the brain for that. The road meanders wildly through the landscape, luring with curves to the horizon. The engines set the pace. Your torque carries us weightlessly, allowing idleness. Driving as a pleasure. But there is another way. After all, there is plenty of potential in the two-cylinder engines. The BMW R nineT rolls ahead. Does not wobble, does not move, lies stable. The hard strut has advantages?

Tobi persistently keeps close behind me. The next corner follows. The BMW R nineT is packed on the wide handlebars that promote handling and carefully stepped down two gears in the BMW transmission. The boxer shakes like a wet poodle. Just a flat twin in the old-fashioned style. The two 320 mm discs at the front reduce the speed in a finely adjustable manner, despite far too much free travel on the brake lever. The peg gently scratches the asphalt. And get out of the curve. The throttle valves release their full cross-section. So, dear Triumph Thruxton R, burn up in my hot exhaust gas jet from the Akrapovic bags, the next thought is on record.

And again the photographer – with flat feet

Puff cake. The English lady cannot be shaken off and sits down next to me. The full sound of the British twosome with a 270 degree crank pin offset penetrates my ear gently. Tobi crouches tightly like a speed bow on the Triumph Thruxton R. At the next braking point, the time has come. It decelerates well into the curve, steps down the gears without worrying thanks to the anti-hopping clutch, and takes a lot of momentum with it. And flies wonderfully diagonally around the corner. The Thruxton has more lean angle than the BMW R nineT. And needs less of it. She relies on moderate tire widths, a 160 rear is sufficient for her. Good for light-footed handling. The BMW wears a 180 tire on the aft rim. The spring elements of the Triumph feel the road relief more confidently, the Showa fork, which is much tighter than at the presentation (MOTORRAD 7/2016), and the Ohlins stereo shock absorbers work hard but justly. Thruxton, the name is derived from a southern English race track. It has never been a better match for the Cafe Racer in the Triumph range than this model.

In complete harmony with our bikes, we scurry relaxed through the Winkelwerk. Everyone different, everyone equally euphoric. Only one is missing. You already suspect it. It’s the photographer. BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R stop at the roadside. Question marks are in the room. A short time later, a BMW R 1200 R comes up to us. The photographer reports something about a flat tire. The rear tire of the water boxer has run out of air. A close look at the tires reveals: We shouldn’t have driven the narrow gravel road earlier. A splinter of wood has drilled into the profile. What now? The clock comparison shows shortly before 7 p.m. here in the no man’s land around Eisenach. The next gas stations and their air pressure testers are now ours – right up to the hotel for the night. Stop, fill up, drive on: the rhythm of the further kilometers.

Triumph Thruxton R with the most modern ingredients

In the sunshine, the two modern classics await departure the next morning. Passers-by stop, heads turn in their direction every second. The bikes are not only soul-catchers, but also eye-catchers. The many fine details of the Triumph Thruxton R invite you to linger. A motorcycle that skillfully spices up a successful retro line with the most modern ingredients. Engine cover in the pre-unit look or the injection hidden under the guise of an old Amal carburetor are just two examples. The BMW R nineT does not have this kind of decoration. She declares purism to be a maxim, emphasizing the most important elements of a motorcycle such as drive, chassis, tank and wheels.

We owe the Cycle World team from Ammern to the fact that all three two-wheelers can continue on that day. Thanks to the pick-up service and spontaneous tire change, the R 1200 R can quickly roll along again. Finally we still have to go to the center of Germany. There is an almost inconspicuous stone waiting for us here. Otherwise there is a lot of emptiness around us. No place to stay. Niederdorla has not captured our souls, has not touched our hearts. But the place in our midst was already taken. To the BMW R nineT and the Triumph Thruxton R. Although the price is a high one. 14,500 euros for the Triumph, 14,900 euros for the BMW – without extras and additional costs.

Technical specifications

Here you can see an extract of the technical data. If you would like the complete measurement values ​​determined by us, including all consumption, torque and acceleration values, you can buy the article as a PDF for download.

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